Youths to have their own credit union

Rutherglen Reformer - - Bereavement - Dou­glas Dickie

South La­nark­shire Youth Coun­cil (SLYC) and La­nark­shire Credit Union have es­tab­lished the UK’s first‘credit union hub’specif­i­cally for young peo­ple.

De­vised from an idea hatched by mem­bers, the hub is a be­spoke ‘youth zone’within the La­nark­shire Credit Union where ser­vices are tai­lored and de­liv­ered to 16-24 year olds.

At a meet­ing of the coun­cil’s ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee this morn­ing, mem­bers fully en­dorsed the unique project and its aim of im­prov­ing the fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy of 16-24 year olds, while break­ing down the bar­ri­ers that of­ten pre­vent young peo­ple from ac­cess­ing what is a pre­dom­i­nantly older gen­er­a­tion ser­vice.

Fol­low­ing on from a suc­cess­ful en­try to the Money for Life Chal­lenge in 2014 with the Valu­able In­for­ma­tion Penny savers (VIPs) project, SLYC mem­bers sought to learn more from high street banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions on how they lend money, specif­i­cally to young peo­ple. La­nark­shire Credit Union was quick to em­brace the idea and in­vited SLYC mem­bers to make sug­ges­tions which re­sulted in the even­tual es­tab­lish­ment of the hub.

SLYC Mem­bers have also signed up to vol­un­teer in the credit union to build their skills and knowl­edge which they hope to pass on to peers through work­shops, open days and other com­mu­nity events.

Coun­cil­lor Jean McKe­own, chair of the ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee said: “The aim of the hub is to pos­i­tively im­pact on de­ci­sions made by young peo­ple by giv­ing them the tools to make rea­soned de­ci­sions about fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, un­der­stand­ing the po­ten­tial im­pact of bor­row­ing, or get­ting into an un­man­age­able cy­cle of debt.

“This is the first time in the UK that a credit union has worked in part­ner­ship with young peo­ple with a view to pro­vid­ing spe­cific ser­vices aimed at ed­u­cat­ing them on fi­nan­cial mat­ters, as well as pro­vid­ing a strate­gic di­rec­tion about how fu­ture prod­ucts and ser­vices would be pro­moted to young peo­ple. It is also the first time a credit union has specif­i­cally de­signed an area where young peo­ple can feel com­fort­able com­ing in to ask about ser­vices.”

La­nark­shire Credit Union Youth hub, if suc­cess­ful, is ex­pected to roll out across Scot­land and the rest of the UK.

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